Everything came full circle for artist Seth Green, the Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Purdue University, at Art Insights this Oct. 17.
He was the guest of the week and offered advice for aspiring art students. For Green, it was not only an opportunity to share his experiences, successes and failures with students, but it was a way for him to return to his hometown.
“I remember what it’s like to be sitting exactly where you are, thinking, ‘This artist is amazing. How am I ever going to get where they are?’” Green said.
It’s true, too. Green sat in those very chairs, growing up in Cedar city and graduating from SUU in 2006.
He went on to continue his education by attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska. He now “actively exhibits his ceramic vessels on the national and international levels, in solo, invitational and juried exhibitions.”
Green expressed that while he was a student at SUU, he spent his summers as a wildland firefighter for the forest service. Spending so much time battling wildfire, he had time to observe the fact that lightning was the leading cause of wildfires.
“It’s amazing the [amount of power] that lightning has, and I wanted to capture that in my work.”
Green’s work does just that. The artist studied chemistry and learned the science behind making the glaze on his pottery represent metal.
Most of his work is made to represent architecture.
“There was a lighthouse, and as I walked up and looked at it, I just saw a striking silhouette against the blue sky. The silhouette and the space around the architecture was so appealing to me.”
Green isn’t a traditional potter that makes one pot out of one piece of clay. Instead, he describes himself as a builder, putting together a lot of it from separate pieces.
Addressing the audience, Green urged students to take the opportunity to learn from failures. He explained that one of his biggest mentors and supporters, Susan Harris, told him this after he faced a devastating failure with his undergraduate work.
“She told me that there are successful things in different parts of my work, and that I need to incorporate those successes into my future work.”
Green took that advice. Where he was once just a student starting off, he has now returned to offer advice and teach.
The artist will spend the remainder of his time in Cedar City in the classroom, providing demonstrations for art students.
For more information on Green and his work, click here.
Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong